We have funded our operations primarily through the sale of equity securities (both in public and private offerings), funding previously received from the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of the Economy (OCS), payments received under out-licensing arrangements, and interest earned on investments. We expect to continue to fund our operations over the next several years through our existing cash resources, potential future milestone and royalty payments that we may receive from our existing out-licensing agreements, potential future upfront or milestone payments that we may receive from out-licensing transactions for our other therapeutic candidates, interest earned on our investments and additional capital to be raised through public or private equity offerings or debt ﬁnancings. As of June 30, 2015, we held approximately $54.8 million of cash, cash equivalents and short-term bank deposits.
Recent Company Developments
Pre-Clinical and Clinical Development
In May 2015, we announced the successful completion of the dose escalation stage of a Phase 2 trial for the treatment of AML, and the commencement of the expansion stage at the optimal dose of 1.5 mg/kg. Results of the completed dose escalation stage, in which 22 patients participated, showed that all BL-8040 tested doses, up to 1.5 mg/kg, were found to be safe and well tolerated when administered in combination with high-dose Ara-C (Cytarabine). Building upon prior interim results, which included doses up to 1.25 mg/kg and were presented at the 2014 American Society for Hematology conference, the data indicate that BL-8040 exhibits robust single-agent activity, with a dramatic decrease in the amount of AML cells in the bone marrow and significant mobilization of these cells into the peripheral blood following two days of BL-8040 monotherapy, as well as direct induction of leukemia cell death. Based on the study’s pharmacodynamic data, 1.5 mg/kg was chosen as the dose for use in the expansion stage of the study. In parallel to initiation of the expansion stage, additional patients will be recruited to assess one higher dose level of BL-8040, in order to further expand the therapeutic window of the drug.
In June 2015, at the EHA Conference held in Vienna, we reported and presented comprehensive data from the successful Phase 1 safety and efficacy study of BL-8040 as a novel approach for mobilization and collection of bone-marrow stem cells from the peripheral blood circulation for transplantation. The comprehensive data followed the announcement of successful top-line results from the study in March 2015. Treatment with BL-8040 as a single agent was found safe and well tolerated at all doses, and resulted in efficient stem-cell mobilization and collection in all study participants. Furthermore, the results support BL-8040 as a one-day, single-dose collection regimen, which is a significant improvement compared to the current standard of care. Robust stem-cell mobilization was evident in all treated participants across the different doses tested, leading to a median 9.5-fold increase of stem cells in the peripheral blood following a single BL-8040 treatment. Two to four hours after a single administration, BL-8040 enabled collection of a stem-cell yield exceeding the number of cells required to support a transplant in all treated participants, following only one collection procedure. These results support a novel approach to stem-cell collection for transplantation purposes in patients with hematological malignancies or other indications. Importantly, the collection of CD34+ cells was accompanied by mobilization and collection of colony-forming cells, as well as T, B and NK cells. The collected human graft was further assessed for its viability and quality in vitro and in vivo. The cells collected from the subjects treated with BL-8040 showed excellent engraftment in irradiated mice, followed by a rapid reconstitution of normal hematopoiesis.
In August 2015, we initiated a Phase 2b trial in Germany, in collaboration with the German Study Alliance Leukemia Group, as a consolidation treatment for AML patients who have responded to standard induction treatment. The Phase 2b trial is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multi-center study aimed at assessing the efficacy of BL-8040 in addition to standard consolidation therapy in AML patients. The primary endpoint of the study is to compare the relapse free survival (RFS) time in AML subjects in their first remission during a minimum follow-up time of 18 months after randomization. In addition, pharmacodynamic measurements will be conducted in order to assess the minimal residual disease, and biomarker analyses will be performed to identify predictors of BL-8040 response. The study will enroll up to 194 patients at up to 25 sites in Germany. AML patients between 18 and 75 years of age with documented first remission will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive high dose Cytarabine, either with BL-8040 or with a matching placebo, as consolidation therapy.